An NBA Last Two Minute Report released Thursday said Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James should have been called for goaltending after blocking a shot by Indiana Pacers guard Victor Oladipo in the final seconds of the Cavs' 98-95 victory Wednesday night at Quicken Loans Arena.
Rachel Nichols of ESPN passed along the L2M summary, which also included an incorrect out-of-bounds call that went against Cleveland inside the final 30 seconds:
Rachel Nichols @Rachel__Nichols
The NBA's last-two-minutes report is out, and it says, indeed, that last night the Cavs should have retained the ball with 27.6 seconds to go (refs mistook who last touched it before it went out). And, indeed, LeBron's block on Oladipo with 5 seconds to go was actually a goaltend https://t.co/cAoGFqNIAJ
Here's a look at the play in question:
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The Cavaliers grabbed the ensuing rebound and immediately called timeout. James proceeded to hit a game-winning three at the other end to give Cleveland a 3-2 series lead in Round 1.
"I got a step on him. Felt like I even got grabbed on the way to the rim," Oladipo told reporters. "I tried to shoot a layup, it hit the backboard, then he blocked it. ... It was a goaltend. It's hard to even speak on it. It just sucks, honestly. It really sucks. We fought our way back, we tied the game up, that layup is huge."
During a postgame appearance on NBA TV, Joe Borgia, the NBA's senior vice president of replay and referee operations, explained why officials couldn't review the play:
The league office's admission of the mistake will provide little solace for the Pacers, who must now win two straight games to advance.
Game 6 is scheduled for Friday night at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.